In our first entry this week, Steve Faber asks Should the United Nations Determine Your Civil Rights? - When he mentions "Civil Rights," Steve is really only concerned with one right: the right to keep and bear arms. The United Nations is debating, and many nations have already signed, a "Firearms Protocol" that suggest that the State itself is the only group that should have access to firearms. I may disagree with Steve regarding gun control in the U.S., but I will agree with him that it's not up to the U.N. to dictate how we interpret our 2nd amendment. The U.N. can be properly used to enhance the rights of individuals where government oversteps - it should never be in a position of denying or limiting any rights.
Our friend across the pond, Riversider of Save the Ribble, is back this week with Riverworks - Pub Debate Primer - He's specifically talking about an environmentally suspect development that's being built in his area of England, against the will of the residents and the better judgment of the local officials. His "debate primer" format, however, is instructive for any group of citizens anywhere who are fighting an unpopular development being foisted on them by one small group's greed. I also include the post here because I just love his introductory paragraph:
It’s a warm, dreamy, summer afternoon, and you are resting your aching feet in a riverside pub after a pleasant ramble along the soft green banks of the River Ribble. You are nursing a pint of cask-conditioned real ale, appreciating the softness of your barstool, and the murmur of pleasant conversation with friends, when suddenly the topic of the Riverworks initiative rears it's ugly head!Looking back to the right, Ashok returns, this time talking about Educating Liberty: Free Speech - He starts off by saying, "What is essential for a democracy is that speech is consistently valued over force." He then goes on to question why we can talk constructively and intelligently with each other about every other topic, but when the conversation turns to politics, we suddenly begin shouting insults and gibberish. I second his call for open, honest debate (even if he does blame it more on the left than on the right).
Joerg Wolf of the Atlantic Review submitted his posting on The Burden of Guantanamo - Guantanamo, he begins, "is an image problem for everybody who is considered close to the Bush administration." That's putting it lightly. Joerg goes on to talk more specifically about the recent suicides and international - particularly German - reaction, and brings up some interesting aspect that have been left out of most blogs on the subject.
I'm going to take a little "editor's privilege" here and include one of my own recent posts: Bush Declares Himself Absolute Dictator - I admit it's a bit of an exaggeration, but hear me out. In the posting I talk about his use of "signing statements" and other devices to circumvent both Congress and the Supreme Court and place himself above the law. This practice caused one expert in constitutional law to say, "This raises profound rule of law concerns. Do we have a functioning code of federal laws?"
Thank you for joining us on our bi-weekly look at the decline of democracy (and hopeful attempts at fixing it). The next edition of the Carnival will be posted on Monday, July 17th, with entries requested by Saturday, July 15th, at midnight.
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Tags: carnival of the decline of democracy, blog carnival, politics, government, United States, Congress, Bush, Guantanamo, free speech